WRC Portugal: Mads Ostberg grabs early lead from Sebastien Ogier

Mads Ostberg grabbed the Rally of Portugal lead from Sebastien Ogier at the end of stage two on Friday morning

WRC Portugal: Mads Ostberg grabs early lead from Sebastien Ogier

Ogier had already looked capable of delivering a third straight dominant win when he came through the opening Mu stage four seconds clear of nearest rival Ostberg.

Friday's five stages take place without a full service, so drivers must stick to one tyre compound all day.

Ogier chose softs all round, in contrast to most rivals, who felt the increasing temperatures would hurt the softer rubber.

Ostberg outpaced Ogier by 7s on stage two, Ourique, to move into a 3.9s lead. The Frenchman remained confident his strategy was on course, though, while Ostberg - who inherited victory on this event last year when Mikko Hirvonen was disqualified - admitted he was pushing beyond his comfort zone in places.

Qualifying pacesetter Dani Sordo was only fifth after Mu, but jumped to third on Ourique, ahead of Citroen team-mate Hirvonen and a confidence-lacking Jari-Matti Latvala in the second VW.

Ostberg's M-Sport Ford team-mates Thierry Neuville and Evgeny Novikov are presently sixth and seventh, followed by VW's debutant Andreas Mikkelsen.

Robert Kubica meanwhile holds fourth place on his debut in WRC2.

The Pole's Citroen is 22s behind class leader Esapekka Lappi's Skoda, with Sepp Wiegand and Elfyn Evans separating them.

Kubica, who is 40s clear of the rest of the WRC2 pack, lost time near the end of stage two as he reached the finish with a front tyre off the rim and a radiator leak.

Leading positions after SS2: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Ford 23m23.1s 2. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen + 3.9s 3. Dani Sordo Citroen + 10.3s 4. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 16.5s 5. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen + 27.1s 6. Thierry Neuville M-Sport Ford + 42.2s 7. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford + 55.7s 8. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen + 1m03.2s 9. Michal Kosciuszko Italia Mini + 1m15.0s 10. Martin Prokop Czech Ford + 1m23.3s 
shares
comments
Technical analysis: Robert Kubica's WRC2 Citroen

Previous article

Technical analysis: Robert Kubica's WRC2 Citroen

Next article

WRC Portugal: Robert Kubica in engine damage scare

WRC Portugal: Robert Kubica in engine damage scare
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Ogier , Mads Ostberg
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021